Idahoans need to stop shooting themselves in the foot on Election Day by supporting candidates who vote against their best interests, write Carrie and Jerry Scheid.
By Carrie and Jerry Scheid
Jerry: Did you hear about the ISU Professor who shot himself in the foot when his gun went off in his classroom?
Carrie: Pretty bizarre. But we Idahoans have a knack for shooting ourselves in the foot. For example, we are really good at electing folks who vote against our best interests.
Jerry: Hmm … one who comes to my mind is Sen. Jim Risch. He voted to shut down the government last fall. Thanks to Sen. Risch and his tea party friends, the INL, Yellowstone and Teton Parks were shut down, which hurt our economy. The INL is responsible for 25 percent of eastern Idaho’s regional employment and generates $2.75 billion in economic output. Equally important, it’s leading our country’s efforts to build a strong nuclear energy future which will help cure us of our oil addiction.
Carrie: Even worse, at the August 2013 City Club Forum Mr. Risch said “he wouldn’t support any effort to shut down the federal government.” His speech is on their website. Clearly he’s not a straight shooter.
Jerry: Maybe that’s why he turning down all the debates, except one, against his opponent Nels Mitchell. Perhaps he’s afraid debating will show that his ideology is more important than Idaho’s economy.
Carrie: They call Mr. Risch “Senator No” because he votes no on virtually everything but offers no real solutions. He even said that nothing ever happens in Congress but he still loves his job. Sounds like we are funding his retirement at $174,000 annually.
Jerry: Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot again with that guy. I’m voting for Nels Mitchell. He’s a hard-working Idahoan who won’t tour the world on the taxpayers’ dime because there is nothing to do in Washington.
Carrie: What about the Mike Simpson versus Richard Stallings race?
Jerry: Unlike Mr. Risch, Mike Simpson’s voting record shows that he puts the needs of Idahoans ahead of ideology.
Carrie: Indeed, he’s chairman of the appropriations subcommittee which funds the Department of Energy and the INL. In that position, he helped increase INL funding while maintaining the overall spending cap on our nation’s budget. This not only strengthens our economy, it helps solve our country’s energy problems.
Jerry: I agree. I appreciate Richard Stallings’ past Congressional service. But we shouldn’t give up Congressman Simpson’s senior committee positions and problem solving skills for a freshman representative.
Carrie: Speaking of shooting ourselves in the foot, in one of our local races we have an opportunity to replace an extremist with a problem solver.
Jerry: That’s the Janet Trujillo versus John Radford legislative race. Ms. Trujillo supported ultra right winger Bryan Smith over Mike Simpson in the Republican Primary. That decision along with her voting record shows her tea party mindset.
Carrie: Her opponent John Radford, the manager of Barnes and Noble in Idaho Falls, is a moderate whose top priorities are better schools and jobs. He’d be a far superior legislator.
Jerry: In the November elections, I hope voters take aim at our problems, not at our foot.
Jerry is a retired farmer/rancher and native Idahoan. Carrie is a retired nonprofit administrator. They live in Idaho Falls.